Tag Archives: MONA

Blogs can connect people purposefully and with pleasure

Some people refer to social media as a force which separates people, however in my experience I see it brings people together. Through my blog I have ‘met’ interesting people with whom I might not otherwise have connected and I have learnt a great deal.  My blog has introduced me to a world of wonderful ideas, beautiful environments, and to people who demonstrate they are vitally alive.  Every day I love to open my laptop and check who has sent me a comment or an email or to discover and read a recent blog posting by someone I am following.

Earlier this year, blogger Denise from upstate New York emailed to tell me she was coming to Tasmania and would love to walk in one of the locations I had previously written up.  This started what has now developed into a strong online relationship.  Eventually we met and walked when she visited Tasmania.

Denise at MONA 2015

The photo above shows Denise heading off towards the car park. It was the end of the day after we had walked from GASP (Glenorchy Arts and Sculpture Park), lunched at MONA (Museum of Old and New Art), checked out the current exhibitions, and realised it was time to travel home.

This November has been a special month for Denise because she decided to highlight special people in her life: she selected 30 people and wrote a daily post throughout November. I was immensely surprised when she added me in. Denise’s post can be read on her blog ‘Dee Scribes’  When you have read this, you may like to read some of her earlier postings.  As a thoughtful, intelligent and articulate advocate for redefining disability, she is second to none.  Denise is a professional with  humour and flair.  I have learnt so much more by reading her blog posts. Thank you Denise.

Award winning buildings edging or overlooking the Derwent River 2015

Recently the Master Builders of Tasmania Association announced Housing and Construction Excellence Award winners.  Here are a selection.

  • The winner of the Unique Achievement in Construction was project MONA Turrell Amarna. This massive sculptural structure was designed by artist James Turrell and titled Amarna. Its construction needed extraordinary creativity and engineering nous to build.
  • The winner of the Excellence in Heritage Listed or Period Home Restoration/Renovation – Open Value was the ‘Colonial Cottage’, Sorell Creek, New Norfolk. The original building was constructed around 1870.
  • The winner of Heritage Listed or Period Building Restoration / Renovation – Open Value was ‘Pumphouse Point’  which overlooks both Lake St Clair and Derwent Basin.
  • The winner of New Construction – $5 million to $10 million was ‘Brooke Street Pier’. This innovative floating structure almost next to Salamanca, replaced a series of tiny old ferry offices, and is now the gateway for ferrying visitors to MONA, supplying interesting locally produced Tasmanian souvenirs of quality, and providing a welcome drink or two.

Another revision: naturally therapeutic images from stages 7-10

I can’t help myself. Having reviewed my favourite images from the first half a dozen stages of my walk along the Derwent River, I felt compelled to continue looking through my collection from the subsequent walks.  I have chosen photos showing aspects of both the natural and man-made world and I believe all will prompt thinking about the Derwent River, Hobart and its suburbs, and the natural environment. My selection of the images with the most memorable impact for me, from stages 7-10, are given below.

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From the eastern shore looking northwards towards the Bowen Bridge, with a couple of black swans on the river.

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Two plaques ‘opened’ by two great Australian prime ministers near the Bowen Bridge.

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The rusting raw-edged remains of a ship, the Otago, at Otago Bay.

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My enjoyment of any family’s black sheep.

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Heading into Old Beach and gradually leaving Mount Wellington behind.

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The gloominess of the approaching storm when I reached Old Beach.

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The pleasures of well-made pathways, thanks to local government.

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Looking northward across the Jordon River to Greens Point.

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The glories of native flora. In these instances, it was blooming wattle and a spectacular stand of eucalyptus/gum trees which attracted my attention.

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The remains and the signs of a burnt out car on a back track.

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Knowing that it is still possible to have a laugh when walking.

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Arriving at the Bridgewater Bridge.

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Walking on the western shore of the Derwent River for the first time during this project.

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The house of one of first European settlers, James Austin, at Austins Ferry.

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At Dogshear Point, walking around the Claremont golf course, with the thwacking sound of hit balls crossing the greens.

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Reaching Cadbury’s chocolate manufacturing factory in Claremont.

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The hand-hewn rustic style seat near Connewarre Bay.

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Passing MONA somewhat camouflaged as it nestles into a tiny hill against the Derwent River.

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The mosaics along the foreshore.

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The jumble of boats and boat houses at Prince of Wales Bay.

Hoon tyre marks

Road mark making in Lutana.

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Cornelian Bay’s oil tanks up close.

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The Tasman Bridge.

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The circus had come to town.

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The emptiness of an arena of stands waiting to be filled during wood chopping competitions.

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Reaching the ‘end of the line’ on arrival in Hobart city.

Arriving in Granton for Stage 14 of the walk along the Derwent River

Since walking along the Derwent River in the northern suburbs on the western shore earlier this year, I have revisited MONA at Berriedale on a number of occasions but I have not been further north. So it was a great delight when my X1 Metro bus, which departed from Hobart city at 7.17am, used the old main road after the Glenorchy bus mall to travel through Berriedale, Claremont and Austins Ferry before reaching Granton.  I was able to see the acres of majestic gold and red leafed vines of Moorilla Wines, to observe Cadbury’s chocolate factory puffing plumes of white steam into the crisp blue sky morning, to identify a range of native birds that were using Goulds Lagoon as a safe resting place, and to recognise various bays and other features that I had passed previously.  Everything seemed edged with the early sunlight which glowed strongly through rain washed, impeccably clean air.

I was off the bus at stop 49 on the last of the Brooker Highway at 7.50am.  Looking northwards, the sign made it clear the direction to take was straight ahead. An earlier post introduced the history of the old Granton watch house (search Historic Granton, Tasmania) – that’s the low yellow building on the left in the first photo below, and then the second photo shows the sun-struck front of the building.

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I was aware New Norfolk, over last weekend, had been celebrating the glories of its autumn foliage as indicated by the sign below. The sign served to increase my anticipation of those colourful delights.

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The unmemorable architecture of the Granton Memorial Hall solidly facing the morning sun, seemed very out of place in this beautiful area.

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Equally solid and immediately serviceable was the public toilet block at the edge of the carpark used by many city bus commuters.

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In front of the carpark a sign reminded me of the importance of grape growing in Tasmania – not the least because the wine from our vineyards is very drinkable (as agreed by wine judges from around the world).

Vineyards ahead

My eyes swung across to the roundabout for vehicles travelling north on the Midlands Highway to Launceston via many rural towns. In the distance, the vertical towers of the Bridgewater Bridge marked the Derwent River crossing.  The calmness of the day, and the quality of the light was sublime.

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I hadn’t walked far along the Lyell Highway when I saw the sign below which indicated that 16 kilometres further along the highway I would reach New Norfolk.  But could I trust the sign? Two or so kilometres further back, when I was still bussing on the Brooker Highway, I had seen a sign indicating the distance was 16 kilometres.

Leaving Granton

Not far away another roadside sign alerted motorists (and the occasional pedestrian): Welcome to The Rivers Run Touring Route.

The Rivers Run

Walking on the right hand side of the road facing oncoming traffic and with the Derwent River on my right, I continued into the icy breeze heading towards New Norfolk.  It wasn’t much after 8am when I left the (comparatively) built up area of Granton on the first leg of Stage 14.

Walking the Back Roads

My upstate New Yorker blog follower (https://deescribesblog.wordpress.com/about) who came to Tasmania recently and walked with me along GASP to MONA, alerted me to the blogsite (https://walkingbackroads.wordpress.com/about/) re “Walking the Back Roads: A Hundred Years from Philadelphia to New Hampshire“.   She recognised my broad interest in people who decide to walk paths that are not normally walked. Thank you.  I love followers alerting me to such sites.

The walking the backroads blogsite has been inspired by a range of different books written by walkers of the highways and backroads of America through the 19th century. The blogger examines their stories.  He refers to the walk which he undertakes as ‘the long walk home’. Very interesting.

The concept of walking on backroads is instantly appealing to me. I wonder how many backroads exist which connect with Tasmania’s Derwent River in some way. I guess there may be hundreds and that they would all lead to interesting, mostly remote places. I imagine our backroads would peter out into bushland where sheep or cattle graze, rabbits multiply, indigenous wombats might run, Tasmanian devils fight for scraps of native food, or wallabies roam.

Suddenly the question comes to me; what is the definition of a backroad? When is a road no longer a main road? Is it a matter of how many people live along its edges?  Is it a matter of how many vehicles use it? Is it a matter of the road being unknown to the majority of the surrounding population? Is it possible to have a backroad in city areas or can they only be found in rural areas? Or are backroads, roads which are out of the way, difficult to find, and often not on maps?  And does a vehicular unsealed track count as a backroad?

In other words, how would I know if I was on a backroad? Is it sufficient that I make the decision?  Guess it would be. And I guess the locals may not refer to their road as a backroad even when I might.

Reliving GASP and MONA with a new walk along the Derwent River

On Stages 9 and 10 of my walk along the Derwent River, I passed the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) and the Glenorchy Arts and Sculpture Park (GASP).  Yesterday I had the opportunity to introduce two international visitors to these important arts structures.

Mid-morning I met with a follower of my blog, De from upstate New York and her Arizona cousin Ke as we were chauffeured thanks to Ma, from the centre of Hobart to our starting point near the Derwent Entertainment Centre.

Our excursion started from the Pavilion at the southern end of the Glenorchy Arts and Sculpture Park (GASP) near the Derwent Entertainment Centre.  Do you remember my photos of that surprise pink glass wall?

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From a distance and approaching this structure, it looks dull, industrial and disused. But just as I had felt during my walk, my two new international co-walkers were amazed once we arrived at the site. Quite delightful and I have no doubt De will be displaying her own photos on https://deescribesblog.wordpress.com/ when she has time.

Then we started strolling and rolling along the bike/pedestrian path towards the slatted walkways with their colourful striped edges.  Many photos were clicked every time we reached a new striped walkway with a different set of colours.

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De gets around in a motorised wheelchair so when she spotted a scooter with its dinghy trailer (see photo below) waiting for its owner to return from their boat out on the Derwent River, she stopped in amazement. We talked about how good security seemed to be locally.  The scooter owner had left his/her shoes, helmet and other personal items, and despite a security strap set up to prevent movement, we all knew that enterprising thieves seem to carry bolt cutters with them these days.  But all was well yesterday.

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Gradually clouds disappeared, the mountain looked sharp and much of the sky was blue.

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Glorious.  After a very cold North American winter, De soaked up the sunshine as the day warmed and we did everything to stay outdoors that we could.

We continued along the foreshore and turned towards the highway when we reached the Montrose High School. Then we were onto the bike/pedestrian track past Rosetta and into Berriedale before advancing up the entrance incline to the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA).  Along the way we admired the new autumnal colours of the Moorilla grape vines beside the road.

Vineyards

A visit to the exhibitions at MONA requires descent into cavernous spaces below ground so we decided to enjoy a lunch break first.  Despite the busyiness of the café directly above the museum, De motored through gaps in the visitors and took us outside into the open air where tables and chairs are set on the lawn. We admired great views up, down and across the Derwent River.

Our sparkling Moorilla wines were crisp and delicious, and the food choices were expansive.  De and I settled on a soba noodle with spring peas and pickled ginger salad, and Ke tucked into an Italian summer salad which included a great variety of ingredients dressed with the best local olive oil. Ducks and peacocks were out and about, seemingly comfortable with the thousands of visitors that come to MONA each week.

Satisfied by lunch we returned inside and took the lift to the bottom floor of MONA. Over the next couple of hours we wandered through the three levels of exhibits before De and Ke found the upstairs bookshop. The wonderful conclusion to our visit came when De spotted a spectacle outside.  They left the building and, along with a throng of tourists, took photographs of a huge unblemished and bright rainbow crossing over the entire River.

It was a great pleasure to show non-Tasmanians a small part of where I have been along the Derwent River, and De and Ke’s enjoyment enhanced mine. Thanks for your company and best wishes De for your conference presentation in Burnie tomorrow encouraging people to understand there are few limits other than those we set ourselves.

Denise leaving MONA

Both De and Ke gave me permission to include their photos in this blog.

International traveller may join me for a walk

A few months ago I was excited when a blog follower from upstate New York, told me she was coming to Tasmania and would love to take a walk with me to see some of the sites I have shown in my postings.  With increasing anticipation we have corresponded and now I expect her arrival this week. Sometime around midweek we expect to undertake a comparatively short ‘stroll’ from the southern end of the Glenorchy Arts and Sculpture Park (GASP) over the wonderful striped edged walkways over the edge of the Derwent River.   Do you remember them? For example,

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and

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Then we will head northwards into Berridale and on to MONA (Museum of Old and New Art) with all its fascinations.  Perhaps we won’t be able to get away but if we do, there is always the possibility we might continue on to Cadburys chocolate factory. This doesn’t seem too shabby an itinerary.  What do you think?

Of course we will exercise our right to choose somewhere else to walk if we wish.

If anyone else is visiting and wants to relive a section of the edge of the Derwent River over which I have passed, please email me on walkingthederwent@gmail.com.